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ON THIS DAY – June 21, 1944

CASTLEMAINE

After an inquest on the death of the Rev Walter J. Ding, Baptist pastor at Maldon, Mr D. J. Dugan (District Coroner) committed Dr Gerald Russell Featherston, of Maldon, for trial at Bendigo General Sessions on a charge of manslaughter. Mr Ding died in Castlemaine Hospital on June 21, following an operation. The Coroner found the operation had been performed with negligence of such a degree as to amount to criminal negligence.

 

On this day …….. 4th September 1868

Oliver Dragoon was committed to Ararat lunatic asylum, Western Victoria, on the 10th of February 1868. Dragoon managed to escaped from the Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 4th of September 1868. He was arrested in Piggoreet on the 11th of September and was taken into Ballarat by Constable Magrath, and lodged in the Western lockup, before being returned to Ararat. This is the second time Dragoon has escape from the asylum, on the first occasion he succeeded in evading all search for several months. Dragoon died in the asylum. On the 2nd of June 1871, Dragoone escapes again and course on the 27th of June.

On this day …….. 1st September 1877

Martin Delaney was committed to Mayday Hills Asylum, Beechworth, North East Victoria, on the 1st of September 1877. Delaney had previsly been committed to the asylum on the 10th of November 1875, but was released as cured in December of that year. Delaney owned his own house which he leased out and had a selection of land which he farmed near Burramine. On the 7th of October 1877, Delaney escaped from the asylum but was recaptured three days later.

 

On this day …….. 21st of August 1869

John Darly was committed on the 3rd of October 1868. Darly managed to escaped on the 18th of November 1868, by walking out the front gate of the Asylum and down the hill into Beechworth, Victoria. Darly was recaptured and brought back to the asylum on the 20th of October only to escape again on the 21st of August 1869. This time however he was only on the large for 24 hour.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 21, 1944

CASTLEMAINE

After an inquest on the death of the Rev Walter J. Ding, Baptist pastor at Maldon, Mr D. J. Dugan (District Coroner) committed Dr Gerald Russell Featherston, of Maldon, for trial at Bendigo General Sessions on a charge of manslaughter. Mr Ding died in Castlemaine Hospital on June 21, following an operation. The Coroner found the operation had been performed with negligence of such a degree as to amount to criminal negligence.

 

On This Day ……. 7th May 1954

Sir Edmund Herring, Chief Justice, said in the Supreme Court on this day in 1954 that a jury had apparently been lenient with a man because a theft he had committed had been “hard work.” Edward Joseph Greagon, 22, laborer, Fyan st., Geelong, was charged with stealing 75 tons of steel link pilings from the Geelong Harbour Trust on August 16 last year. He was given a three-year good behaviour bond. Sir Edmund told Greagon: “The jury has found “you guilty, and has asked me to be lenient with you. “I don’t know why. Perhaps they took into account that stealing the pilings was a bit of hard work.” Sir Edmund added: “An examination of case histories shows that many people known as gaol birds today were treated too kindly by Courts when they started their criminal careers. “Give yourself a chance. Pull up your socks. Good luck to you.”

 

ON THIS DAY – April 24, 1908

The inquest in connection with the Dobie murder, when Charles Henry Deutsehmann was alleged to have shot at and wounded his father-in-law and then killed his wife, was concluded. The coroner returned a verdict of murder, and Deutschmann was committed for trial. The accused appeared to be much dejected, and when in court did not take his hand from his face. He merely shook his head when spoken to. He is to be presented on a charge of the attempted murder of his father-in-law.

 

ON THIS DAY ……. 13th April 1940

EAST HAWTHORN

Douglas Ernest Evans aged 27, of Hawthorn, was committed for trial on a charge of having murdered James Charles Edwards aged 47, on this day in 1940. Senior-Detective Deslamen said that Evans had told the police that he was at the garage in Burke road, Camberwell, where Edwards was murdered on April 13, from 11.40am to 12.00pm, and that an Air Force man who was there also was angry Edwards about some repair work to a car he had done. Evans was charged with the murder.

 

EXECUTION THIS DAY …….. 5th April 1865

The execution of John Stacey, for the murder of a child named Daniel McDonnell, at Emerald-hill, on the 28th of February, took place at the gaol, in presence of a smell number of spectators. Since the lest execution a new “drop” has been constructed at the gaol, and the general arrangements materially altered. On a level with the gallery, in front of the middle tier of cells, a small platform, part of which is composed of a trap-door, has been erected, stretching across from the gallery on one side of one of the corridors to that on the other side. Above this platform a beam has been fixed, reaching from wall to wall, and to this the rope is suspended. The prisoners under sentence of death will be placed in the cells on a level with and immediately contiguous to this platform; the long distance which the convict had formerly to be conducted and the ascent of a ladder being by these arrangements avoided. The Rev. D. Lordon, by whom the convict Stacey has been constantly attended, visited him at an early hour yesterday morning; sad at the time of the execution the Rev. Dr. Bleasdale read the prayers of the church (Roman Catholic) to which the prisoner belonged. Punctually at ten o’clock the sheriff, accompanied by the governor of the gaol, had the door of the cell opened, and the unhappy man was informed that the hour had arrived. He stepped outside the cell, preceded by an attendant with a crucifix, and accompanied by the clergyman. The pinioning was done on the gallery in front of the cell, the prisoner the while keeping his eye fixed upon the emblem before him. Not more than two or three short steps ware required to bring him upon the centre of the trap-door before mentioned, and the prisoner stepped to the place indicated without any visible sign of trepidation. He was very pale, but had the expression of steady resolve, and his nerves did not fall him in the least while the rope was being adjusted. Thu only words spoken by him were now and then the repetition, in a low tone, of portions of the sentences recited by Dr. Bleasdale. The executioner, having completed the adjustment of the noose, stepped back to a lever handle, and released the bolt, allowed the drop to fall. Death must have been instantaneous; no struggling took place, and one or two slight movements, which lasted for perhaps a minute and a half after the drop, were evidently but the effects of a spasmodic action of the muscles after life had departed. Not more than about eighteen or twenty persons were present of whom the greater number were official. The prisoner stated at his trial that his true was Michael Casey. He is entered in the gaol books as thirty one years old, born at Bristol. He arrived in this colony in 1852, free, his calling as a stoker. He made no distinct confession of having committed the deed for which he was sentenced, unless he did so to the clergyman.

 

ON THIS DAY …….. 24th March 1881

Michael Farly was committed on the 1st of September 1880, Farly was a farm at Lake Rowan, near Benalla, where he resided on a 100 arc. He escaped from the asylum on the 24th march 1881.

 

 

ON THIS DAY …….. 24th March 1883

David Chalmens was committed to Ararat Lunatic Asylum on the 14th of July 1869, by his brother Alex Chalmens. Chalmens was a Black Smith for the Port Phillip Mining Company in Clunes. On admission Chalmens was described but the Medical Superintendent Dr William Armstrong as Convalescent. Chalmens escaped on the 24th of March 1883, and was recaptured on the 2nd of April. On the 12th of April 1884 Chalmens was transferred to Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum.

 

 

ON THIS DAY …… 22nd March 1935

LUNACY SUCCEEDS MURDER

Mrs. Alma Riehter, murdered and hacked her young son to pieces with an axe at their Moonee Valley home, on this day in 1935. A charge of murder was withdrawn in the city court, as Riehter had already been committed to a Lunatic Asylum, and was found to be quite mad.